This weekend, I walked into the aftermath of an interview Canadian psychologist, professor, and author, Jordan Peterson gave to the London Times. The recorded interview, the London Times article, the blog posts, and comments that follow only add to the vexing circumstances of why Jordon Peterson, one of the world’s leading populist intellectuals goes dark after a wildly popular book and tour.
Apparently, Jordan agreed to the interview after receiving a heartwarming invitation from the London Times. The Times offered Jordon an opportunity to provide an up-close and personal account of the harrowing nature of his experiences over the last eighteen months. The thing is, the published piece didn’t reflect the invitation.
In the Jordon 2.0 Story, Mikhaila—who has emerged as Jordan’s Jedi protector—takes a leading role in shielding him from the troubles that haunt him on his hellish journey of mental illness, anti-depression SSRI drugs, and their horrific side effects. Mikhaila also becomes her father’s guide and leads him to a Soviet-era hospital to be placed in an induced coma while his blood is spun clean of the pharmaceutical waste plaguing his system. As you listen to the interview, the story that lands Jordon in a Soviet-era hospital is so strange (given he has access to the best care available in the world) it causes the journalist to pause—and start questioning the entire scenario.
The almost three-hour interview with journalist Decca Aitkenhead also provides fascinating insights into Jordan’s current state of mind and recovery. At times, Jordon is so moved from uncontrolled grief and pain he can hardly speak, and then is providing lucid articulation on the current state of play in American politics.
Thus, Jordan’s reemergence with a new book and an inviting letter from the Times, the interview and the article to follow seemed like the right place to get it all straight, on paper. Or so the Petersons thought.
The resulting article offers an unsympathetic version of the story and an unflattering depiction of Mikhaila. This does not sit well with the Peterson’s and their followers. And what emerges is a sub-story about Decca’s own intolerable pain and grief that Jordan speaks of. This appears to drive Decca to question (although she does not come out and say it) the personal account of Jordon Peterson: The man who proclaims how to make order out of chaos. Decca seems to wonder how the man who proclaims how to make order from chaos can be so out-of-control in his personal life.
And to a degree, who can blame Decca for this view when you listen to the hours of Peterson’s talk. You get to a point where you say, “There is some really crazy shit going on here!” So, if you are interested in Jordan Peterson and want to find out what happened to him climb down the rabbit hole with me.
You will find this especially interesting if you have read Jordan’s book: 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos, and his new book Beyond Order: 12 More Rules for Life because you must consider the absolute utter chaos and lack of order that is his personal life.